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46 Maranan v Perez

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  408SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED Stonehill vs. Diokno No. L-22272. June 26, 1967. ANTONIA MARANAN, plaintiff-appellant, vs. PASCUALPEREZ, ET AL., defendants. PASCUAL PEREZ,defendantappellant. Common Carriers; Liability for intentional assaultscommitted by its employees on passengers; Difference between oldand New Civil Code provisions.  —Unlike the old Civil Code, theNew Civil Code expressly makes the common carrier liable forintentional assaults committed by its employees upon itspassengers (Art. 1759). This rule was adopted from Anglo- American law, where the majority view, as distinguished 413  VOL. 20, JUNE 26, 1967413 Maranan vs. Perez from the minority view based on respondeat superior,  is that thecarrier is liable as long as the assault occurs within the course of the performance of the employee's duty. It is no defense for thecarrier that the act was done in excess of authority or indisobedience of the carrier's orders. The carrier's liability isabsolute in the sense that it practically secures the passengersfrom assaults committed by its own employees. Same; Reasons for carrier's liability for intentional assaultsupon passengers.  —The special undertaking of the carrier requiresthat it furnish its passengers that full measure of protectionafforded by the exercise of the high degree of care prescribed bylaw, inter alia,  from violence and insults at the hands of strangersand other passengers, but above all from the acts of the carrier'sown servants charged with the passenger's safety. Theperformance of that undertaking is confided by the carrier to itsemployees. As between the carrier and the passenger, the former  must bear the risk of wrongful acts of the former's employeesagainst passengers, since the carrier, not the passengers, has thepower to select and remove them, Same; Carrier is liable to the heir of a passenger killed by itsdriver.  —Where a passenger in a taxicab was killed by the driver,the cab owner is liable to the heir of the deceased passenger fordamages on the basis of breach of the contract of carriage. Thedriver is not liable to the heir because the driver was not a partyto the contract of carriage. His civil liability is covered by the judgment of conviction in the criminal case. The case is differentfrom Gillaco vs. Manila Railroad Company,  97 Phil, 884, Same;    Damages; Carrier's liability for passenger's death.  — The minimum amount of compensatory damages, which acommon carrier should pay for the intentional killing of apassenger committed by its driver while transporting thepassenger, is P6,000. Moral damages may also be awarded.Interest is due on said damages.  APPEAL from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of Batangas. Relona, J. The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.    Pedro Panganiban  for defendant-appellant.  Magno T. Bueser  for plaintiff-appellant.BENGZON, J.P., J  .:Rogelio Corachea, on October 18, 1960, was a passenger ina taxicab owned and operated by Pascual Perez when 414 414SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED Maranan vs. Perez he was stabbed and killed by the driver, Simeon Valenzuela. Valenzuela was prosecuted for homicide in the Court of First Instance of Batangas. Found guilty, he was sentencedto suffer imprisonment and to indemnify the heirs of thedeceased in the sum of P6,000. Appeal f rom said convictionwas taken to the Court of Appeals.On December 6, 1961, while appeal was pending in theCourt of Appeals, Antonia Maranan, Rogelio's mother, filedan action in the Court of First Instance of Batangas torecover damages from Perez and Valenzuela for the deathof her son. Defendants asserted that the deceased waskilled in self-defense, since he first assaulted the driver by  stabbing him from behind. Defendant Perez furtherclaimed that the death was a caso fortuito  for which thecarrier was not liable.The court a quo,  after trial, found for the plaintiff andawarded her P3,000 as damages against defendant Perez.The claim against defendant Valenzuela was dismissed.From this ruling, both plaintiff and defendant Perezappealed to this Court, the former asking for moredamages and the latter insisting on non-liability.Subsequently, the Court of Appeals affirmed the judgmentof conviction earlier mentioned, during the pendency of theherein appeal, and on May 19, 1964, final judgment wasentered therein. (Rollo, p. 33).Defendant-appellant relies solely on the rulingenunciated in Gillaco v. Manila Railroad  Co., 97 Phil. 884,that the carrier is under no absolute liability for assaults of its employees upon the passengers. The attendant factsand controlling law of that case and the one at bar are verydifferent however. In the Gillaco  case, the passenger waskilled outside the scope and the course of duty of the guiltyemployee. As this Court there found: x x x when the crime took place, the guard Devesa had no duties todischarge in connection with the transportation of the deceased from Calamba to Manila.  The stipulation of facts is clear thatwhen Devesa shot and killed Gillaco, Devesa was assigned toguard the Manila-San Fernando (La Union) trains, and he was atPaco Station awaiting transportation to Tutuban, the startingpoint of the train that he was en- 415  VOL. 20, JUNE 26, 1967415 Maranan vs. Perez gaged to guard. In fact, his tour of duty was to start at 9:00 a.m.,two hours after  the commission of the crime.  Devesa was thereforeunder no obligation to safeguard the passengers of the Calamba-Manila, train, where the deceased was riding; and the killing of Gillaco was not done in line of duty.  The position of Devesa at thetime was that of another would be passenger, a stranger alsoawaiting transportation, and not that of an employee assigned todischarge any of the duties that the Railroad had assumed by itscontract with the deceased. As a result, Devesa's assault can notbe deemed in law a breach of Gillaco's contract of transportationby a servant or employee of the carrier. x x x (Italics supplied) Now here, the killing was perpetrated by the driver of thevery cab transporting the passenger, in whose hands the  carrier had entrusted the duty of executing the contract of carriage. In other words, unlike the Gillaco  case, the killingof the passenger here took place in the course of duty of theguilty employee and when the employee was acting withinthe scope of his duties.Moreover, the Gillaco  case was decided under theprovisions of the Civil Code of 1889 which, unlike thepresent Civil Code, did not impose upon common carriersabsolute liability for the safety of passengers against wilfulassaults or negligent acts committed by their employees.The death of the passenger in the Gillaco  case was truly afortuitous event which exempted the carrier from liability.It is true that Art. 1105 of the old Civil Code on fortuitousevents has been substantially reproduced in Art. 1174 of the Civil Code of the Philippines but both articles clearlyremove from their exempting effect the case where the lawexpressly provides for liability in spite of the occurrence of force majeure. And herein significantly lies the statutorydifference between the old and present Civil Codes, in thebackdrop of the factual situation before Us, which furtheraccounts for a different result in the Gillaco  case. Unlikethe old Civil Code, the new Civil Code of the Philippinesexpressly makes the common carrier liable for intentionalassaults committed by its employees upon its passengers,by the wording of Art. 1759 which categorically states that Common carriers are liable for the death of or injuries topassengers through the negligence or willful acts of the former'semployees, although such employees may have acted be- 416 416SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED Maranan vs. Perez yond the scope of their authority or in violation of the orders of the common carriers. The Civil Code provisions on the subject of CommonCarriers 1  are new and were taken from Anglo-AmericanLaw. 2  There, the basis of the carrier's liability for assaultson passengers committed by its drivers rests either on (1)the doctrine of respondeat superior  or (2) the principle thatit is the carrier's implied duty  to transport the passengersafely. 3 Under the first, which is the minority view, the carrier isliable only when the act of the employee is within the scope
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